Tennessee Hospitals Push to Revise Federal Tax Bill
Published: Friday, December 8, 2017 9:14 am
As Congress works to resolve differences between Senate and House versions of federal tax reform legislation, Tennessee Hospital Association is urging the Tennessee congressional delegation to reconsider several components of the bills. These items include the Senate proposal to repeal the individual insurance mandate, changes to tax exempt bonds in both bills and repeal of itemized deductions for medical expenses in the House bill.
Unintended consequences for hospitals and health systems as a result of some provisions in the bills could have a major negative impact in numerous communities. THA President and CEO Craig Becker, in talking about the potential impact of the legislation, stated, "While the goal of promoting economic growth through tax reform has been made clear by members of Congress, there are real ramifications in the bills for hospitals that threaten economic viability, especially in rural areas of Tennessee where we have already seen eight facilities close since 2012."
As the bill currently stands, there are certain provisions that would make it difficult for hospitals to operate in the black -- both as healthcare providers and employers for thousands of Tennesseans - which threatens the future of healthcare across the state. Hospitals are often the largest employers in a county, and in some cases, can represent as much as 20 percent of a community's employment and income.
Because of the potentially disastrous impact to hospitals, THA strongly believes the following provisions should be removed from the final bill.
Tennesseans struggling with serious disabilities or terminal illnesses often spend their life savings while caring for themselves or a loved one. The deductibility of large medical expenses can provide greater financial stability for these individuals and families. In a time of high deductibles for the insured or out-of-pocket costs for those who still lack coverage, this tax deduction is critically important for Tennesseans.